The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Wednesday imposed a sanction of N5 million each on Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV, TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV), and NTAStartimes Limited for airing a documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa eye titled, “Bandits Warlords of Zamfara.”
NBC also fined Trust-TV network Limited N5 million for its documentary titled: “Nigeria’s Banditry-The Inside Story”.
The commission said the documentaries glorified the activities of bandits and undermined national security in Nigeria. It also argued that the airing of the documentaries contravened the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, sixth edition, especially, the under-listed sections:
3.1.1: “No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity”;
3.12.2: “The broadcaster shall not transmit a programme that incites or likely to incite to violence among the populace, causing mass panic, political and social upheaval, security breach and general social disorder; and
3011.2: “The Broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a manner depicting that law and order are socially superior to, or more desirable than crime or anarchy.”
Balarabe Ilelah, the director-general of the commission, said the fines imposed on the broadcast media platforms and stations must be paid not later than August 30, 2022.
“Failure to comply with this will lead to the imposition of a higher sanction as provided in the Code,” he warned.
“Broadcasters are enjoined to be instruments of National unity and desist from falling into antics of using their platforms to promote and glamorize subversive elements and their activities.
“Please note that every broadcast station or platform is responsible for the content it transmits or transmitted on its platform, and shall be held liable for any content in violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code,” the DG further said.
While appreciating the need of educating, informing, and enlightening the public on issues bordering on developments and happenings within and outside the country, the DG also advised broadcasters to be circumspect and deliberate in the choice and carriage of contents deleterious to Nigeria’s national security.